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The Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) rulemaking has concluded. The PROWAG final rule has been published in the Federal Register. Please visit the Access Board’s PROWAG page for the guidelines.

Subpart C-Rapid Rail Vehicles and Systems


§1192.51 General.

(a) New, used and remanufactured rapid rail vehicles, to be considered accessible by regulations issued by the Department of Transportation in 49 CFR part 37, shall comply with this subpart.

(b) If portions of the vehicle are modified in a way that affects or could affect accessibility, each such portion shall comply, to the extent practicable, with the applicable provisions of this subpart. This provision does not require that inaccessible vehicles be retrofitted with lifts, ramps or other boarding devices.

(c) Existing vehicles which are retrofitted to comply with the “one-car-per-train rule” of 49 CFR 37.93 shall comply with §§1192.55, 1192.57(b), 1192.59 and shall have, in new and key stations, at least one door complying with §1192.53(a)(1), (b) and (d). Removal of seats is not required. Vehicles previously designed and manufactured in accordance with the accessibility requirements of 49 CFR part 609 or Department of Transportation regulations implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that were in effect before October 7, 1991 and which can be entered and used from stations in which they are to be operated, may be used to satisfy the requirements of 49 CFR 37.93.

§1192.53 Doorways.

(a) Clear width. - (1) Passenger doorways on vehicle sides shall have clear openings at least 32 inches wide when open.

(2) If doorways connecting adjoining cars in a multi-car train are provided, and if such doorway is connected by an aisle with a minimum clear width of 30 inches to one or more spaces where wheelchair or mobility aid users can be accommodated, then such doorway shall have a minimum clear opening of 30 inches to permit wheelchair and mobility aid users to be evacuated to an adjoining vehicle in an emergency.

(b)Signage. The International Symbol of Accessibility shall be displayed on the exterior of accessible vehicles operating on an accessible rapid rail system unless all vehicles are accessible and are not marked by the access symbol. (See Fig. 6)

1 large stylized image of an outline of a figure in a wheel chair on a grid background and 2 smaller images of the same figure on black and white backgrounds.

(c)Signals. Auditory and visual warning signals shall be provided to alert passengers of closing doors.

(d)Coordination with boarding platform. - (1) Requirements. Where new vehicles will operate in new stations, the design of vehicles shall be coordinated with the boarding platform design such that the horizontal gap between each vehicle door at rest and the platform shall be no greater than 3 inches and the height of the vehicle floor shall be within plus or minus 5/8 inch of the platform height under all normal passenger load conditions. Vertical alignment may be accomplished by vehicle air suspension or other suitable means of meeting the requirement.

(2) Exception. New vehicles operating in existing stations may have a floor height within plus or minus 1-1/2 inches of the platform height. At key stations, the horizontal gap between at least one door of each such vehicle and the platform shall be no greater than 3 inches.

(3) Exception. Retrofitted vehicles shall be coordinated with the platform in new and key stations such that the horizontal gap shall be no greater than 4 inches and the height of the vehicle floor, under 50% passenger load, shall be within plus or minus 2 inches of the platform height.

§1192.55 Priority seating signs.

(a) Each vehicle shall contain sign(s) which indicate that certain seats are priority seats for persons with disabilities, and that other passengers should make such seats available to those who wish to use them.

(b) Characters on signs required by paragraph (a) of this section shall have a width-to-height ratio between 3:5 and 1:1 and a stroke width-to-height ratio between 1:5 and 1:10, with a minimum character height (using an upper case “X”) of 5/8 inch, with “wide” spacing (generally, the space between letters shall be 1/16 the height of upper case letters), and shall contrast with the background, either light-on-dark or dark-on-light.

§1192.57 Interior circulation, handrails and stanchions.

(a) Handrails and stanchions shall be provided to assist safe boarding, on-board circulation, seating and standing assistance, and alighting by persons with disabilities.

(b) Handrails, stanchions, and seats shall allow a route at least 32 inches wide so that at least two wheelchair or mobility aid users can enter the vehicle and position the wheelchairs or mobility aids in areas, each having a minimum clear space of 48 inches by 30 inches, which do not unduly restrict movement of other passengers. Space to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility aids may be provided within the normal area used by standees and designation of specific spaces is not required. Particular attention shall be given to ensuring maximum maneuverability immediately inside doors. Ample vertical stanchions from ceiling to seat-back rails shall be provided. Vertical stanchions from ceiling to floor shall not interfere with wheelchair or mobility aid user circulation and shall be kept to a minimum in the vicinity of doors.

(c) The diameter or width of the gripping surface of handrails and stanchions shall be 11/4 inches to 11/2 inches or provide an equivalent gripping surface and shall provide a minimum 1-1/2 inches knuckle clearance from the nearest adjacent surface.

§1192.59 Floor surfaces.

Floor surfaces on aisles, places for standees, and areas where wheelchair and mobility aid users are to be accommodated shall be slip-resistant.

§1192.61 Public information system.

(a)(1) Requirements. Each vehicle shall be equipped with a public address system permitting transportation system personnel, or recorded or digitized human speech messages, to announce stations and provide other passenger information. Alternative systems or devices which provide equivalent access are also permitted. Each vehicle operating in stations having more than one line or route shall have an external public address system to permit transportation system personnel, or recorded or digitized human speech messages, to announce train, route, or line identification information.

(2) Exception. Where station announcement systems provide information on arriving trains, an external train speaker is not required.

(b) [Reserved]

§1192.63 Between-car barriers.

(a) Requirement. Suitable devices or systems shall be provided to prevent, deter or warn individuals from inadvertently stepping off the platform between cars. Acceptable solutions include, but are not limited to, pantograph gates, chains, motion detectors or similar devices.

(b) Exception. Between-car barriers are not required where platform screens are provided which close off the platform edge and open only when trains are correctly aligned with the doors.

Technical Assistance

Contact the Access Board for assistance on these guidelines